The Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, announced today the 2013 deadline for accepting applications for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP). The deadline for submitting GRP applications is June 3, 2013 for applicants to submit offers for GRP rental contracts.
The GRP is a jointly administered program between FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The GRP was revitalized as a part of the 2008 Farm Bill with a goal of enrolling 1.2 million acres nationwide. The purpose of GRP is to assist landowners and operators to protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving and restoring grassland resources on eligible private lands.
Both agencies accept applications on a continuous basis; however, ranking dates are established to evaluate and select applications for current year funding. Any applications received after June 3, 2013 shall be retained until the next ranking period. Producers not accepted during previous GRP sign-ups must reapply to be considered for enrollment in 2013.
Preference will be given to: Working grazing operations with an approved grazing plan; Land that has been historically dominated by grassland and provides habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value; Land which contains historical or archeological resources; and Land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on Sept. 30, 2013.
Either owners or operators may voluntarily apply for GRP rental contracts as long as the operator can provide proper documents to show control of rental acres during the entire contract period. Participants must meet adjusted gross income requirements and must be in conservation compliance. There is a $50,000 payment limitation for rental contracts.
Rental contracts may be either 10 years, 15 years or 20 years in duration. Annual rental payments vary by county and range from $10.00 to $16.50 per acre enrolled.
Interested landowners and operators may visit their local USDA Service Center to find out more about enrolling in the GRP or other Conservation programs.